Rachel Shumaker

Miss Madison Metro

Hometown:  Pontotoc, MS

Platform:       Ahead of the Curve-Scoliosis

Talent:           Piano

What college did you attend, or are currently attending? Will attend Mississippi State University in the fall

What is your major?  Biological Sciences with Pre-Veterinary Medicine Concentration

What is your scholastic ambition? I plan to attend Mississippi State University and graduate with a Bachelor of Biological Sciences degree and Doctor of VeterinaryMedicine degree.

List scholastic honors: Special Honor Roll-9th through 12th grades; Union County ACT Club; Ranked 1st in Class; Daughters of the American Revolution History Award; Beta Club; Science Club; Math Club; Future Business Leaders of America; APEX Leadership Summit Attendee

Greatest non-academic accomplishment: Placing in the Top Ten in the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen pageant was a feeling I will never forget. It was incredible to see the culmination of my hard work and dedication

What is your favorite style of music?  I could never choose one. I will listen to anything that sounds good, no matter the genre.

What is your favorite movie genre and why?  Fantasy movies are my favorite. Watching them is like escaping to another world that someone created with their imagination and brought to life through film.

What is your favorite gadget?  I love my Keurig coffee maker.

What is your favorite blog?  My favorite blog is by Jaclyn Hill, a makeup artist who is incredibly talented and always puts a smile on my face.

What is your favorite place to visit?  Paris, France

What is your favorite food? Italian

If you were on a deserted island, what book would you want with you?  I would want any of the Harry Potter books, simply because I am a huge Harry Potter fan.

Do you twitter?  I do. I think it’s a great light news source. Often, Twitter is the first place I see breaking news and I learn more details through other sources.

What is your favorite?

Sport:  Gymnastics               Sports Team:  Mississippi State Bulldogs

Actor: Johnny Depp              Actress: Viola Davis

Television Program:  How to Get Away with Murder; Viola Davis is phenomenal in this show and the creator, Shonda Rhimes, is a creative genius.

Wardrobe Accessory:  I have an Alex and Ani bracelet with a unicorn charm on it that represents the Children’s Miracle Network. 20% of the purchase price of each of these bracelets is donated to CMN. I love to look down at my wrist and be reminded of the miracles that are made possible every day by the Children’s Miracle Network.

Thing to do on a weekend:  Boating with friends and family

Way to spend a day off:    Shopping, relaxing, or traveling

What is your hometown like?  My hometown is small, quaint, and full of loving people. Pontotoc is very family-oriented and was once voted the best place in Mississippi to raise a child.

What were you like when you were a child?  I was independent, strong-willed, eager to learn, and adventurous.

Who is the most influential person in your life?  My mother is my go-to person when I have a problem, need help with a decision, or just need some comfort.

What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? Although I am able to express myself through the performing arts of dance, guitar, and piano, I possess no artistic ability when it comes to crafting, painting, ordrawing.

Describe one defining moment in your own life, other than winning your local title: The day I visited St. Jude as a patient was a defining moment in my life. I realized the importance of supporting children’s hospitals like St. Jude when I saw very sick children living out their childhoods in a hospital.

What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss America Program? I did not realize until I was a part of this program that my story can impact the lives of other people and I have knowledge and experience that can benefit others. It is my responsibility to use my reign to share those assets to the people who need them.

If you are crowned Miss Mississippi, what do you want to accomplish during your Year of Service? I want to touch as many lives as possible through sharing the love, spirit, and hospitality that Mississippi is all about as well as representing the Miss AmericaOrganization by exemplifying the four points of the crown.

What is your secret wish or dream?  To work in the fashion industry for a major designer

I’m motivated by:  A mental image of success constantly motivates me to work hard and dedicate myself to the task at hand. I also surround myself with people who are encouraging and uplifting

Is there a personal connection that made you pick your personal platform? My personal experiences with scoliosis inspired me to create a platform for patients who are lacking support and resources.

What do you think has been the most significant event in your lifetime? I believe the most significant event in my lifetime is my scoliosis journey as a whole. The condition itself gave me the ability to overcome and grow through challenges, which in turn allowed me to teach, inspire, and love others through that same process.

The one thing I can’t live without: My many pets

My best friend would describe me as:  Busy, ambitious, loyal, and uplifting

Something interesting about my family:  Everyone in my family either graduated from or currently attends Mississippi State University, except for my mother. Sorry Mom, and Hail State!

Funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me:  One time during a piano performance, I forgot at least half of my piece. It was embarrassing, but it also taught me the importance of being resilient after defeat.

One thing I’d like to try that is out of character for me:  I am terrified of heights, but every now and then I will do something spontaneous to remind myself I can overcome that fear, which is why I would love to go skydiving.

Do you have any pets?If so, what kind and tell us their names: I have three dogs: Millie, Foxy, and Champ; and three cats: Willis, Ammie, and Crookshanks. They are all unique and bring much joy to my life.